It’s tough to end a television show, and when the creators and writers have long been tied to their characters, there’s a difficult balance between pleasing the audience and keeping one’s creative vision intact. ‘The Good Wife’ finale solidified that sad fact with its sub-par last episode, and the audience erupted in rage. In short, she didn’t get the guy, she left her husband, and she got a hard, literal slap in the face from her counterpart, who she arguably crossed for her own benefit. Did she learn anything or find any sense of real happiness along the way? I’d say no, but at least her long lost love made a post-mortem return in a fantasy scene, and we all got to say goodbye to the beloved Will Gardner (Josh Charles).
While I like the idea of a woman having a “happy ending” that is not dependent on a man, there was no happy ending for Alicia. I found an interview with the creators and listened to their cerebral explanation of the episode’s events, and I can only say that they have lived too long with these characters and lost sight of the big picture. According to Robert King and Michelle King, Alicia’s journey began and ended with a “slap,” the first for her husband and the last for her, as she slowly became the corrupt person that she resented in episode one (i.e. her husband). She looks ahead to the future and marches on sans man, and Jason Crouse (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has disappeared for a less complicated life.
As a lawyer, I resent the notion that zealous representation is corrupt, and I also resent the idea that Alicia’s sense of morality is somehow inversely tied to her ability to advocate for her clients. I believe she became a strong, no-nonsense individual that finally fought for what she wanted in life (a job, a divorce, and a decent love life), and she was not rewarded for any of those revelations. She was punished. It’s no one’s fault, though. Writers and creators just cannot adequately end television shows.